Q&A with NET Ministries
A community of believers share why they support NET Ministries’ mission
Q&A with RW and Kristina Holleman, parents of NET team members
What inspired you to be connected with NET Ministries?
I [Kristina Holleman] was exposed to NET as a high school student and was inspired and encouraged to grow in my faith by seeing role models that were young and vibrant and full of joy. I then served on NET in 1989-90 and found in that life-changing year of service the support, encouragement, and formation I needed to follow Christ and love the Church.
Now my two oldest children have served on NET (Cole ’14-’15 and Kate ‘17-’18), and their involvement with this ministry has richly blessed me again, so many years later.
What do you personally find most meaningful about your associations with NET?
As a parent of a NETter, now for the second time, I have found that there seems to be a special grace poured out on the families of these young missionaries, perhaps because of their heartfelt prayers for their families while they are serving with NET. When my son Cole was on NET, our family went through an extremely difficult time with the birth of our ninth child who was born with Trisomy 13, and then her death six weeks later. Through this sorrow, there was a tremendous amount of grace poured out on us. We felt the prayers of our son Cole and of all his team, of the other NETters and the staff, and we know these prayers carried us through.
When we went to St. Paul for the Thanksgiving banquet, just two months after the loss of our baby, we were overwhelmed with love and healing (and many tears!) as we experienced the Mass, the praise and worship, and the loving and powerful prayer ministry of these wonderful team members.
Most NET families have their own personal and significant stories of God’s grace, provision, and blessing while their young missionaries were on their year of service.
Why is NET’s mission of “Challenging young Catholic to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church” important to you?
This mission is very important to me personally because I know God used NET Ministries at a critical time in my life to change my direction and my priorities. For me as a teenager, it was powerful to see other young people whose youth, energy, and love for Christ were attractive and inviting to me. I’m so grateful for NET, for its impact on my life, and for the privilege of serving and being part of this organization.
What are some of the ways you’ve seen or heard about NET’s mission work being impactful and/or helpful to Catholic youth?
There are countless stories of youth being impacted through NET retreats and ministry. I have been even more impressed, though, by the impact on the missionaries themselves, and the fact that every year NET sends out into the world 175+ vibrant young Catholic men and women who are mature in their faith, committed to daily prayer, in love with Christ and His Church, and formed and equipped to make a difference in our culture. I would be delighted if all my children took a year to serve with NET. I have seen such incredible growth and development in my children and in so many young people I have known who have served.
What do you think is the best course of action for keeping young Catholics engaged with their faith and close to Jesus Christ?
That’s a BIG question…that’s really THE question. If we can keep the young people engaged, then that is the future of the Church, the future of our culture. As a parent, I know that I have to stay close to Christ and work hard to raise my children in the Faith, and let them be exposed to opportunities like NET that will enrich and encourage their growth.
What’s next? Tell us about your goals in this area/mission, that we are working on together as a supportive faith community.
Our children’s involvement with NET has renewed our commitment and desire to help support this ministry and make sure this wonderful work of God can continue to grow and impact more youth and more families. We are hoping to help provide opportunities in our area for NET alumni, families, and supporters to come together and stay involved with NET.